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[467] people of New England held fasts and offered prayers
Chap. X.}
for the success of their Saxon brethren.

The first years of the residence of Puritans in America, were years of great hardship and affliction; it is an error to suppose that this short season of distress was not promptly followed by abundance and happiness. The people were full of affections; and the objects of love were around them. They struck root in the soil immediately. They enjoyed religion. They were, from the first, industrious, and enterprising, and frugal; and affluence followed of course. When persecution ceased in England, there were already in New England ‘thousands who would not change their place for any other in the world;’ and they were tempted in vain with invitations to the Bahama Isles, to Ireland, to Jamaica, to Trinidad. The purity of morals completes the picture of colonial felicity. ‘As Ireland will not brook venomous beasts, so will not that land vile livers.’ One might dwell there ‘from year to year, and not see a drunkard, or hear an oath, or meet a beggar.’1 The consequence was universal health—one of the chief elements of public happiness. The average duration of life in New England, compared with Europe, was doubled; and the human race was so vigorous, that of all who were born into the world, more than two in ten, full four in nineteen, attained the age of seventy. Of those who lived beyond ninety, the proportion, as compared with European tables of longevity, was still more remarkable.

I have dwelt the longer on the character of the early Puritans of New England, for they are the

1 New England's First Fruits, printed 1643, p. 23, 26.

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